Deep in the middle of the night, Blackhot City was covered in tranquility. Ever since the curfew was imposed, every night after midnight, the entire Blackhot City would fall asleep like a giant that they had finished their day of busy work.
Like birds singing in the daytime and the snakes chasing after mice in the night, some preferred to wander about in the night rather than the day, especially those from the areas neighboring the railway station where people of all walks of life converged. After midnight, there would still be many people wandering outside. Unfortunately, if they were captured by the patrolling City Guard Army and the magistrates, they would be punished through lashings, would have to serve in Glanceburg Prison that was located outside Blackhot City, and would become a joke to many pioneers. However, for those pioneers, this punishment was nothing serious at all.
Many people held this thought, hence why the bar in an alley near the railway station filled with pioneers, the "Treasures of the Poisonous Snakes", was extremely bustling after midnight. For the average adolescent like Zhang Tie, they would never know of the wonderful nightlife that Blackhot City had.
As for the new arrivers, Huck and Snade, they had investigated the areas near the railway station before finding the bar called "Treasures of the Poisonous Snakes". After 00:00 when the curfew came into effect, the two entered the bar as they pushed open the two doors.
The bar was not spacious inside. After midnight, the bar was boisterous, as there were around 30 people inside, most of whom were wearing the uniform of pioneers. Some talked and laughed loudly as they touched the breasts of the prostitutes beside them. Some murmured in the shadows of lights in the bar, where one would occasionally see two men scratching something hidden within their broad sleeves at the table. Some nodded when they were satisfied, while others shook their heads to show disagreement. If they could not reach an agreement, they would pull back their hands. This was the usual trading pattern among pioneers. The transaction was done within their sleeves to keep the items and prices of the trade a secret. Only the two parties involved knew what had happened, thus one would never know the topic of their conversation, even if they were planning your assassination and its price.
When Huck and Snade entered the bar, many people glanced at them and continued their own business, while other more perceptive pioneers felt as if danger was drawing close to them. In response, they stealthily moved the weapons lying on the table or beside them closer, placing them in a convenient position in case a critical situation arises.
The moment Huck and Snade sat at a table, two slightly nice-looking barmaids had already moved in front of them with slim twisting waists. They intended to lower their bodies to show their exposed, plump breasts. "Handsome boys, what can I do for you?"
"Two cups of black pine wine. What kind of food do you serve?" asked Snade.
"Toast, soybean, beef soup, and crispy sausage!"
"One set for each of us!"
After the barmaids left, noticing what the two had ordered, the others moved their gazes away from them, as they knew few troublemakers would enjoy a meal before causing trouble in the bar.
Soon, the food ordered by Snade and Huck were served. Looking at the food, Snade didn't eat it immediately; instead, he took out a grass root, which looked like a dried twig, wrapped in silver wires and poked every item on their plates and the mug of beer as he checked for a change in the color of the grass root and the silver wires. After no color change was seen, they started to safely enjoy the supper. After several hours of work, the two were currently really hungry.
It was common for pioneers to test for poison by using the grass root of a Soul-Eating Thorn that was wrapped in silver wires. Silver wire and the grass root of the Soul-Eating Thorn was the perfect combination — it reacts to most poisonous substances, including the "powerful rat poison" that only required a small amount to kill a fully grown man. Almost every pioneer had this habit of testing their food for poison before eating, hence others did not find it strange when they saw this. Even the boss and barmaids considered this as a common habit among pioneers. Aside from frequent customers, many new arrivers of this bar, which was teemed with pioneers, would test poison like those two. It was just a living habit.
The guests of the bar were loudly talking about the town hall of the Blackhot City. The town hall had increased the payment for mapping the black areas north and west of Blackhot City, rising to a price of 46 gold coins per squared kilometers of black area. Additionally, for every extra square kilometer, the price would increase by 5%. Over the past few days, several waves of pioneers who considered themselves exceptional had already traveled over there in groups; however, it was unknown how many among them would return.
After finishing their meal, Huck and Snade pretended to listen to the news inside the bar before preparing to leave and called the barmaid to settle the bill. Intending to pull out his purse, Huck's purse suddenly dropped onto the ground, causing two gold coins to roll out of his purse. Huck hurriedly put away the purse. Instead, Snade settled the bill before the two walked out of the bar. Soon after they left, a man in a corner of the bar also picked himself up on his feet. Drinking the last of his beer, he purposely spilled some beer on himself. Afterwards, he followed the two and left the bar.
The actions of the man surprised no one in the bar.
"It seems like Squirrel Pond has finally found tonight's prey. Heh… Heh..." Someone inside the bar started to smirk. Everyone forgot about the three who had just left. In this world, each and every one of them had their own set of survival rules. If others didn't affect them, then most would just choose to ignore what was happening beside them. This was one of the rules of survival in this age.
The moment Squirrel Pond teetered out of the bar, he looked around and saw Huck and Snade walking into an alley on the left. Narrowing his eyes, he continued to follow them as he pretended to be a drunk man. When Pond drew close to them, the two walking in front glanced back at him; however, they seemed to not care when they saw the drunk man. Drawing close to Huck, he tumbled forward as he moved his hand inside of Huck's coat. The instant Pond's fingers touched Huck's clothes, he heard a cold sneer.
Before Squirrel Pond realized what had happened, his hand was already firmly gripped by Huck. The moment he was about to pretend to be a drunkard and shout loudly, an ice dagger had already arrived at his neck. The dagger cut into the skin and left a shallow cut. Pond was really scared and began to sweat. Afterwards, as if treating a chick, Huck covered his mouth before carrying Pond into a shadow beside the alley, a place where nobody would see.
"Take us to see your boss. We want to see him!" Huck, the manly guy, seemed to be not that patient as he threw Pond directly onto the ground and spoke in a straightforward manner.
"I don't know what are you talking about! I am… ah…" With his mouth covered, Pond couldn't make a sound. Feeling a cold sensation on his right hand, he lowered his head and saw what had happened to hand. What he found was the main artery on his right wrist had been slit open, causing his blood to pour out like a fountain. The wound looked like a mouth of a beast and had almost scared Pond to death.
"You have less than ten minutes before your run out of blood!" Snade smirked at Pond while playing with his dagger.
"Our boss is Bres, a LV 6 Black Spider. Besides him, we have more than ten brothers. If you dare to offend us, you will regret it…" Pond shouted loudly. However, he didn't notice the look of disdain on Huck's face.
"Probably, but you only have two choices now — wait here for your death or lead us to your boss who can save you…" Snade casually explained.
Half an hour later in the gang's base near the railway station of the Blackhot City, Huck and Snade were surrounded by more than ten gang members with weapons in hand. The battle Qi of Bres was tumbling as the hazy shadow of a two-meter tall black spider stood behind him. Excited, every member of the gang looked at Bres with admiration, including Pond, who was under the foot of Huck and was pinching the artery that had been slit on his right hand. A LV 6 fighter who had condensed battle Qi was powerful enough to lead the gang members and allow them to have a good life near the railway station of Blackhot City. He was powerful enough to tear apart anyone who dared to challenge the gang.
"What will we do?" Huck asked Snade.
"You two, I've told you that our gang doesn't have that black-haired kid nor is there such a pickpocket near the railway station. However, since you have wounded our member, you should consider how you're going to explain this to us! It's too late to regret now!" Bres smirked. Waving his hand, a group of gang fighters drew close to Huck and Snade with vicious expressions.
"Kill them all. Since they've seen us, it would be troublesome if any one of them escaped!" Snade said.
Hearing this, Bres roared furiously and shot towards Huck's head. At the same time, all the other members jumped on Huck and Snade with their weapons.
Huck then directly stepped on Pond's head, breaking it like a watermelon. He then punched towards Bres' fist. The moment Bres touched Huck's fist, his face turned pale as he saw a huge shadow appeared immediately behind Huck. Different from his black spider, the shadow behind Huck was a huge centipede with numerous legs.
"One-thousand legged centipede — LV 7 fighter! That's impossible…" Bres exclaimed in fright. The moment the two fists collided, Bres's entire arm was fully broken. Huck's fist then broke through Bres' chest and exited from his back.
With only a single move, the pillar of the gang had suddenly collapsed. The members of the gang didn't even respond to what had happened. When they realized what had happened, they immediately threw away their weapons and escaped towards the gate.
Snade avoided the incoming weapons by twisting his body like a snake and instantly appeared behind the two escaping gang members. He gently slit his dagger through their necks like a poisonous snake spitting his tongue. Before the two fell down, Snade had already appeared beside several other gang members and had slit their necks almost at the same time. After several flashes, starting from the ones who had attacked Snade first, every one of the members, including the ones who were the furthest away from Snade at distance of seven steps, stood still as they started to spray blood from their necks as if they were fountains. Then, they almost all fell down at the same time.
All of this took less than five breaths. The only things that remained were the two who stood in the courtyard and the blood stench that started to spread.
"How do we deal with these bodies?" Huck asked Snade as if killing a large amount of people was just a trivial matter.
At this moment, Snade was immersed in licking the blood on his dagger. "Let's deal with bodies now. We have to make sure that nobody finds them for at least two days!"
"Why not burn them right away?"
"Those people in that bar saw us tonight. Unless we kill them all tonight, people from the bar would definitely think that we are related to this incident. However, if we set a fire here two days later, nobody would think that way!" Snade explained in a cautious and experienced way.
"As they always appeared close to the railway station, they must have plundered a lot of things and collected them here. Let's search for them. We may get some good things if we are lucky. As for that black-haired kid that dared to run in the street neighboring the railway station, he must be very familiar with this place and always frequents here. We'd better stay nearby the railway station for the next couple of days and capture him when we see him!"
"What if we can't find him?"
"If we can't find him within one week, we'd better escape from the Andaman Alliance as well as from the Blackson Human Clan Corridor as far as possible. We'd better not be found by the heads of our organization; otherwise, we would die miserably!" Snade said calmly.
One hour later, Huck and Snade left the base of the gang and had even locked it from the outside, fabricating the image that nobody was inside. They believed that nobody would dare to break inside within a short period considering the terrifying power of the gang. Two days later, they could absolutely eliminate them all simply through fire, leaving no evidence. Nobody would expect that the gang had already been killed two days before the fire.
"A gang? Is that worth something?" When they left the base of the gang, Huck spat towards it.
During that period when the gang was wiped out, Zhang Tie was igniting his Shrine burning point. He didn't realize that he had been involved in such a huge crisis over such an ordinary wooden plate.
Zhang Tie only felt that his whole life was filled with hope and he would have a bright future…